A while back I posed the question “What role does the artist play in society” and opened up the comments on a facebook thread to gather an understanding of how musicians see themselves and how they see their role as an artist in today’s society.
Here is what you had to say on the matter…
The sum product of any civilization is its arts. I don’t see spreadsheets in any museum.
Artists are the doormen of change. They swing between being lauded for their insight and diminished for their flippant contribution to society, but they’re always there, standing at the door.
artists are, in my opinion, the mystics in society… although, in this day and age, so many of us are agnostic in our mysticism, we attempt to open a door, be it through music, images, poetry, drama, or other, to ‘the other side’ that we all suspect is there but can’t quite find in a scientifically quantifiable manner. this is why, throughout history, artists have been so closely aligned with ‘the church’. the age of reason has slowly pushed our alignment in a more agnostic or, if you will, neutral position.
An artist is an ordinary person who lives by his wits and guts and relentlessly forges new pathways through the chaos and banality of everyday existence.
An artist is a magician who plays on the strings of the soul and reminds us that we are alive. Even those who can’t sing can not escape the touch of a song of love and hope or tragedy of life.
they make culture by commenting on culture according to their newly invented/preened viewpoint with whatever media they work via an effort to convince, enlighten,topple, or improve.
By this definition, fortunately, virtually everyone may and should be an artist/birth creativity in their own genera.
Weather they are very good at it is kinda beside the point because that too is, mostly a personal opinion offset by popular opinion (more commenting on culture in its own right)
The artists role in society is to create. To attempt to create works that stimulate the minds of a society and energise their spirits.
(Within this, at times, the artist may be fuelled to reflect the current times and state their feelings with their art)
However that is all he/she can do. To create and let others find something within the work that has meaning for them(which can hopefully provide a living for the artist!)
An artist’s purpose, role, and ultimate goal is to pour all of their emotion out onto their respective canvas in hopes that an emotional response or connection can be created through their work of art. Whether this is through painting, or sculpting, or creating musical works of art, the canvas itself does not matter.
The role an artist plays is simply to emote, create, display, and feel great joy if someone has an emotional reaction to their piece of art.
Artists seek to showcase their gifts in order to add value to the lives of others.
The trick then for the artists is to locate an audience who can validate their gift.
Artists should get paid to make all the mistakes non-artists cannot afford (or are not willing) to make.